Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Saint Stalin Pray for Us

I've never been one to believe too readily in cabals, which doesn't mean they don't exist. All the stuff about "The Family" that's been coming to light, mostly because of the reporting of Jeff Sharlett of Rolling Stone and Harper's is really amazing. Their reading of the Bible is very selective even by fundamentalist standards. They largely dismiss the Christian Gospels in favor of a much more atavistic imperial understanding of the Bible. They believe in that old tribal God who fights for His people, who pushes other people out of the lands that He has predestined for His people. People "win" because they have God's favor. People have "power" because God assigns it to them. The Family believe themselves to be God's instruments on earth, and that the United States is a divinely chosen country with a mandate to dominate the world. What they discuss is not so much saving souls or binding up the wounds of humanity, but power, how to get it and what to do with it. Their members do not look to such people as St. Francis, or even Calvin for examples of Christian life. They are encouraged to study the examples of people like Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Hitler. For them, God is not Love, but Power. Their God is the God of Winners. CHRISTUS VINCIT indeed.
They would be easy to dismiss as a bunch of apocalyptic kooks if they weren't already in the halls of power. Their numbers include senators, congressmen, generals, corporate executives, and any number of foreign dictators. They've been around since the 1930s with their origins in societies that favored Italian Fascism and Franco's Falange.
Sharlett reports that they are the main force behind the proposed Ugandan "death to gays" law.

You can read all about them over at Father Jake's blog where he has all the relevant links.

It always amazes me how much people love power, that so many would prefer power to love. Power in itself is meaningless. Power, like riches, comes from the earth and always returns there. It is nothing more than the capacity to make things happen.
In times of transformation and upheaval, some people feel deeply threatened. They yearn for some kind of Big Daddy to make them feel powerful, to make everything right again, to make them glorious, to keep them safe, and to smite their enemies. Some people project Big Daddy onto God, others onto a political leader. There's never a shortage of people willing to audition for the role of Big Daddy. We all want Big Daddy. We want him to be Santa Claus, Wilford Brimley ordering us to eat our oatmeal, and Superman all in one.

In case you think "Saint Stalin" is a joke, the icon is already "written."

Here are the Russian Teabaggers with Their Man. Damn liberals are slandering a great hero of the Second World War! I'm not making that up. The gentlemen shown above will tell you as much if you ask them.

Gays appear to be in the global gun sights once again; the favorite target of mad mullahs, evangelical demagogues, Catholic hierarchs, Orthodox hierarchs, Anglican bishops, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Hindu fundamentalists, Scientology, Gangsta rappers, rednecks, metalheads, skinheads, die hard Maoists and Stalinists, racists, antisemites, NeoNazis, every son of a bitch with a grudge, a chip on their shoulder, and a spike up their ass.

Gays represent the same thing to every last one of them from mitred bishop to bearded fanatic to tattooed thug. They represent liberal cosmopolitanism and the end of male privilege. These folks may all differ on many things, but they all believe in the Holy Penis. God definitely has one, in their eyes. In fact, they believe in that All Holy Penis before they believe in God. Gays and lesbians are a living breathing rebuke to that faith. Transgenders show us all the transgressive knowledge that while male and female may be biologically determined, masculine and feminine are cultural constructs.

Gays have one thing in common with artists, their capacity to spring up like dandelions through concrete. The Second World War saw the last great attempt to pathologize and destroy homosexuality. In the end, ironically, the War opened the way to political and social liberation for gays and lesbians.
One of my favorite stories is one told 15 years ago by Charles Kaiser about a 26 year old gay soldier from Cincinnati who was part of the liberation of Paris in 1944. He went looking for a once famous gay bar in Paris named for a surrealist ballet by Darius Milhaud, Bouef sur le Toit, Beef on the Roof. He expected to see the building where it used to be before the war. Instead, he found it wide open for business and packed with soldiers from around the world all dancing with each other. It was encounters like that which suggested to largely isolated gays and lesbians that life could indeed be very different for them, and that it was in their capacity to make it happen; it was their power.

Some people's idea of the Kingdom of Heaven; Mauthausen inmates.

A gay Israeli soldier at a Pride Day parade in Tel Aviv.



Göran Koch-Swahne said...

A great post!

Brad Evans said...

Artists, gays and dandelions. All perennial, reasonably attractive and irrelevant.
But convinced (except dandelions)that their very existence proves something or that society would be the poorer without them.

Counterlight said...

I'm not sure society would be poorer without Brad Evans.

JCF said...

The Almighty Penis pounding the Passive Vagina: that how Their God Reigns...

NancyP said...

Dandelion greens are edible, apparently. I have no desire to try them, given the amount of pesticide people put on their lawns.

I am a big fan of Robert Altemeyer's work on authoritarianism. It's available for free on the intertoobs:

oops, just noticed that this is an old post...

Anonymous said...

Where did you find the original of Saint Stalin? Could you help me?